Zwilling J. A. Henckels

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Zwilling J. A. Henckels AG
Subsidiary (AG)
IndustryKitchenware
FoundedSolingen, Germany
13 June 1731; 289 years ago (1731-06-13)
FounderPeter Henckels
Headquarters
Solingen, Germany
Area served
Worldwide
ProductsKitchen knives, cutlery, cookware
ParentWerhahn KG
SubsidiariesStaub, Demeyere, Miyabi, Ballarini, Henckels Intl.
Websitewww.zwilling.com

Zwilling J. A. Henckels AG is a German kitchenware manufacturer based in Solingen, Germany. It is one of the largest and oldest manufacturers of kitchen knives, scissors, cookware and flatware, having been founded in June 1731 by Peter Henckels. The brand's namesake was Johann Abraham Henckels (1771–1850), who renamed the brand after himself under his leadership.

Early history & expansion[edit]

J. A. Henckels International logo

"Zwilling" (German for 'twin') was founded on 13 June 1731 by the German knife-maker Peter Henckels.[1][2] The logo was registered with the CutlersGuild of Solingen, making Zwilling one of the earliest examples of a trademarked company.[3][4] In 1771, Peter's son Johann Abraham Henckels (1771–1850) – the later namesake of the company – was born.[5][6] The Henckels logo has been in the current shape with a red background since 1969.[7]

J. A. Henckels Twin Brand Razors and Shears promotional postcard, around 1930–1945

J. A. Henckels opened the first trading outlet in 1818 in Berlin,[8] opening a shop in New York City in 1883 and followed a year later by Vienna.[9] The company exhibited its products at the 1851 Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in Great Britain, being awarded an international knifesmithing medal.[10]

J. A. Henckels was awarded the Grand Prix prize in Paris in 1900[11] and the Grand Prix of St. Louis in 1904.[12][13] It was also awarded with the Prussian State Golden Medal. Henckels was also given a royal warrant of appointment as purveyors of knives to the Imperial and Royal Court of Austria-Hungary (see K.u.k. Hoflieferant (in German)[14][15]).

Brands & current state[edit]

The company operates several brands, including Zwilling J. A. Henckels, J. A. Henckels International and BSF.[16] Through these activities, the company also operates its own retail shops both in Germany and internationally, among them about 200 sub-stores in China. Since 1970 the company has been owned by the Werhahn Group,[17] with a staff of 3,200 worldwide. Profits amounted to 282 million in 2007, with 80% of its profits generated outside Germany.

Hairdressing[edit]

Since 1988, J. A. Henckels has partnered with Solingen-based professional hairdressing equipment manufacturer Jaguar,[18] which became part of the Zwilling group in 2004 to make product for the hairdressing industry, also owning a selection of hairdressing equipment brands.[19]

Cookware[edit]

In 2004, Henckels acquired the Japanese knife manufacturer Nippa and the U.S. beauty specialist Tweezerman.[20] With the 2008 acquisitions of the Belgian manufacturer Demeyere (stainless steel cookware) and the French group Staub, which produces cast iron cookware, Zwilling moved to expand the cookware segment of its business.[21]

Knife lines[edit]

Zwilling J. A. Henckels Four Star knife set

In 1976 Henckels introduced The Four Star line, which is a fully forged knife with a molded handle made of polypropylene and a tang extending into the handle.[22][23] The majority of Zwilling knives have blades constructed from high-carbon stainless steel, which is ice-hardened for sharpness and stain resistance, along with a partnership allowing some products constructed using a microcarbide powder steel with clad layers, which are manufactured in Japan.

Manufacturing process[edit]

TWIN Cuisine Tournant knife

Henckels knives are manufactured in several ways. A large selection of the knife range are forged from a single piece of high-carbon stainless steel, which is cold-hardened to improve stain resistance. This hardening process consists of cryogenic tempering and involves immersing the finished knife blades in liquid nitrogen.[24] This process is required to get full hardness from most stainless knife steels, as it completes the conversion of austenite to martensite. The process of forging is intended to produce improved cutting-edge retention, weight, balance, and reduced opportunity for metal fatigue. Nearly all of Zwilling's knives are manufactured in Solingen, Germany.[25]

Modern expansion[edit]

In 1909 Henckels set up its first subsidiary in the U.S.,[26] followed by Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Japan, Italy, France, Spain, China. In 2008, subsidiaries were set up in Great Britain and Brazil.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Saturday Evening Post. Curtis Publishing Company. November 1950.
  2. ^ Special Consular Reports. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1904.
  3. ^ Congressional Serial Set. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1904.
  4. ^ Statistics, United States Department of Commerce and Labor Bureau of (1905). Industrial Education and Industrial Conditions in Germany : Special Consular Reports Vol. Xxxiii. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 183.
  5. ^ Kelleter, Heinrich (1924). Geschichte der Familie J. A. Henckels in Verbindung mit einer Geschichte der solinger Industrie (in German). J. A. Henckels.
  6. ^ Schwärzel, Renate (1994). Deutsche Wirtschafts Archive: Nachweis historischer Quellen in Unternehmen, Körperschaften des Öffentlichen Rechts (Kammern) und Verbänden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (in German). Franz Steiner Verlag. ISBN 978-3-515-06211-4.
  7. ^ DE Magazin Deutschland. Frankfurter Societäts-Medien GmbH. 2013.
  8. ^ Kelleter, Heinrich (1924). Geschichte der Familie J. A. Henckels in Verbindung mit einer Geschichte der solinger Industrie (in German). J. A. Henckels.
  9. ^ Schwärzel, Renate (1994). Deutsche Wirtschafts Archive: Nachweis historischer Quellen in Unternehmen, Körperschaften des Öffentlichen Rechts (Kammern) und Verbänden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (in German). Franz Steiner Verlag. ISBN 978-3-515-06211-4.
  10. ^ Robuck, Mike (2014-08-05). Gun Trader's Guide to Collectible Knives: A Comprehensive, Fully Illustrated Reference with Current Market Values. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-62914-320-0.
  11. ^ Home Furnishing Review. Andrew J. Haire. 1909.
  12. ^ Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft, Hamburg-Amerikanische (1908). Guide Through Germany, Austria-Hungary, Switzerland, Italy, France, Belgium, Holland, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, &c: Souvenir of the Hamburg-American Line. J. H. Herz.
  13. ^ Germany Reichskommission, Weltausstellung in St. Louis (1904). International Exposition St. Louis 1904: Official Catalogue. Exhibition of the German Empire. Georg Stilke.
  14. ^ Österreich-Ungarn (1918). Hof- und Staats-Handbuch der Österreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie: für das Jahr ... nach amtlichen Quellen zusammengestellt (in German). Hof- und Staatsdr.
  15. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch der Österreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie (in German).
  16. ^ Fabrikverkauf in Deutschland- 2005/2006: Der grosse JET Einkaufsführer (in German). Zeppelin Verlag. September 2004. ISBN 978-3-933411-34-1.
  17. ^ Economic Bulletin. Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce. 1972.
  18. ^ "Company history". Jaguar Solingen. Jaguar. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  19. ^ BTC. Gale Research. 1993. ISBN 9780810381681.
  20. ^ "J. A. Henckels Acquires Tweezerman and Japanese Cutlery Manufacturer". HomeWorld Business. 2004-12-28. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
  21. ^ "Henckels Acquires Staub". HomeWorld Business. 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
  22. ^ Kling, Rob (1996-02-28). Computerization and Controversy: Value Conflicts and Social Choices. Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-08-050263-2.
  23. ^ Dwell. Dwell, LLC. February 2008.
  24. ^ "This Kitchen Knife Is Both Functional and Frameworthy". Bloomberg.com. 2017-07-26. Retrieved 2020-09-07.
  25. ^ Forbes, Paula (2011-09-29). "Inside the Henckels Knife Factory". Eater. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
  26. ^ "Solingen: Jubiläumsmesser aus echtem Brückenstahl". RP ONLINE (in German). Retrieved 2020-05-01.

External links[edit]